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3D printed reconstruction of the arcuate fasciculus.

Forke, Stephanie J.
Date
2016
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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
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Credit: 3D printed reconstruction of the arcuate fasciculus. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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3D-printed reconstruction of the arcuate fasciculus The brain is composed of two types of matter: grey and white. The grey matter contains cell bodies, and is responsible for processing information. White matter connects these grey matter areas, allowing signalling (and information transfer) between remote areas of the brain.

Language is considered a uniquely human cognitive ability. Its anatomical foundation in the brain has primarily been mapped to two distant brain regions in the frontal and temporal lobes. This image shows a 3D-printed reconstruction of the arcuate fasciculus, the white matter pathway connecting these two areas. Although discovered in the 19th century using post mortem dissection methods, it is only with the advent of new technologies that this connection could be visualised in the living human brain.

To create this work, a type of MRI called diffusion tractography was used to generate a 3D map of the arcuate fasciculus. The data were then converted to a file compatible with 3D printing. The 3D print is made from clear resin, and was illuminated using coloured light in a darkroom for this photograph.

Publication/Creation

2016.

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